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June 13, 2024
Kampala Daily
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Grass to Grace: Tale Of City Millionaire Who Became Broke, Now Hawks Books On Streets

Richard Kioko Kiundi, popularly known as “The Duke of Emali”, rose from a young man fresh from university to a high-flying accountant.

With money rolling in, the man from Makueni County led a lavish lifestyle that took him beyond the borders.

Got Well-paying Job At Toyota Kenya

In an interview with Afrimax English, Kioko disclosed that life started in the civil service, where he served the country in different roles before landing a job that changed his life.

It all began when the career accountant was having a beer and bumped into a gentleman who offered him four times the salary he had been earning.

“I was earning about KSh 4,500 then, so I quoted KSh 18,000, and the man told me to report to the Toyota Kenya office at the Nyayo Stadium roundabout,” he recalled.

Kioko quickly rose through the ranks at Toyota and was soon promoted to Operations Manager before resigning to join Kenya Pipeline.

Owned Lavish House, 3 Cars

He was earning enough money to afford a magnificent house, own three cars, and take his four children to prestigious schools.

However, everything he had built started crumbling in 2013 when he was informed that he had a mild stroke and was admitted to HDU.

Kioko was treated and discharged; however, a few months later, he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in his stomach.

“I was told I was the luckiest person on earth because stomach cancer is not easy to detect until it is too late,” he continued.

It happened that he had resigned to start a company he was forced to sell.

With no income and the treatment gobbling all his money, Kioko soon fell behind on his financial obligations.

“I got into debt, which I could not pay, and they kept on growing, which caused me more stress,” he said.

Having gone through a difficult period and gotten back to health, he wrote a book titled Through the Wilderness of Life, which details the life lessons he had picked.

Photos in the book show the different countries Kioko visited during his heyday and the prominent personalities he interacted with.

Kioko maintains that he may not be as wealthy as before, but he has found fulfilment in selling books on the streets of Kenya.

Multi-millionaire Goes Bankrupt

In an almost similar story, Derrick Soo, a former multi-millionaire, recently came forward to share his harrowing journey from wealth and success to homelessness and living in a tent.

Soo, who retired at age 47, initially enjoyed the fruits of his labour by purchasing a beautiful lakeside house in North Carolina.

However, two and a half months after his retirement, his financial institution declared bankruptcy, leaving him financially devastated.

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